Spiritualists: What is a spirit?

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Is it a supernatural entity like a soul? Or is it just a more poetic word for consciousness/ego/mind etc.?
I only ask because I hear a lot of self-professed atheists/agnostics claiming to be spiritual.
Tommy: Okay, I see the difference, my bad. But the question remains: if you are spiritual, do you believe in a “spirit”, and if so, what is it?
Technically, you may be correct about Atheism/god. But I think it’s perfectly reasonable to extend the definition to encompass the supernatural in general.
Ma’Lon,: Please don’t monopolize the space with these ridiculously long citations. Pick a couple that you think get your point across and click Submit. Not only is it inconsiderate, but I am looking for answers FROM YOU, not from people who wrote a book millenia ago.
If you must quote, take a lesson from Kellygirl below you.

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Adam Reith

an unusual frame of mind


I think is is mostly your soul but also some of the other things too. It is what you are made of, inside. It’s what makes you who you are.

Deeder Magoo

I believe a “Spirit” is something inside of us that drives us to ask questions.
The problem is that I feel people become content and don’t ask questions. They assume stuff that they’ve been told their entire life.
I believe athiest are actually people who have unanswered questions. I think they get a bad rap. Some people seem to take it as “down with god and religion”
I don’t know. Just my opinion. 🙂


The spirit a spiritutalist refers to is not the same as what an atheist would be refering to by being spiritual. You would have to ask the individual what they mean by spiritual. To a spiritualist – spirits are people who are on the other side.

Ma`Lon Y

Spirit in Man
Humanity has one characteristic that other living creatures lack. Job’s young friend Elihu describes this extra element in Job 32:8: “But there is a spirit in man, and the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding.” When God breathed the breath of life into Adam, he must also have imparted a spirit, an essence, that gave humans all the abilities beyond what animals have.
The apostle Paul also mentions this in the New Testament: “For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him?” (I Corinthians 2:11). This “spirit in man” endows humans with the ability to understand, reason, plan, and create. It joins with the physical brain and assists in our thinking. The Bible often uses the word “spirit” to refer to a person’s mind, intelligence, or attitude.
What happens to this spirit in man when we die? Wise Solomon had the answer: “Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7). Why does God take it back? Because–somehow–it is a perfect recording of each person’s entire life! All the person’s memories, actions, words, attitudes, strengths, weaknesses, victories, defeats, decisions, and plans are recorded by man’s spirit!
When God chooses to resurrect us, He will return our human spirit to us, and it will be as if we had never died (Ezekiel 37:5, 10). Some, of course, will be raised to immortality, and they will be completely composed of spirit, both body and mind (John 3:3-8; I Corinthians 15:35-49; I John 3:2). Others will, however, be raised back to physical life–like the “dry bones” in Ezekiel 37–and have a chance to receive the Holy Spirit and prove themselves to God (Ezekiel 37:11-14; Revelation 20:11-13).
Taking It Through the Grave
What was the divine purpose for the creation of man on the earth?
The very first chapter in all the Bible reveals it, if we have the wit to comprehend. God–that is, God and the Word–created man in God’s own image, form, and shape. The word image is used in Hebrews 1 to designate spiritual character.
God created the physical man in dual stages. First, he created one man–a male human. It was in God’s supreme purpose that the man reproduce his kind. But the man was unable to do that–until God completed the human creation physically by the addition of a woman, made from the man. So God anesthetized the man and extracted a rib out of which he made the woman, named Eve. Then man’s physical creation was complete. Man could now reproduce his kind.
But man was not yet spiritually and mentally complete.
Man could not be made into the spiritual and character image of God without the power of mind–thinking, reasoning, decision-making intelligence.
The modern science of brain research has demonstrated that the small differences in human brain and animal brain cannot explain the vastly superior functions and output of the human brain. The human brain can acquire knowledge of chemistry, geology, astronomy, physics–one might say all the vast intricacies of knowledge contained in a many-volumed encyclopedia. Man can thence can put many parts of such knowledge together in a thinking and reasoning process. Man has decision-making ability.
Man has the faculty to use judgment and wisdom. Man has an appreciation of music, art, and literature. Man formulates attitudes of love, cooperation, sympathy, concern for the good and welfare of others, or, on the other hand, attitudes of envy, jealousy, disgust, hatred, competition, strife, revenge, and conspiracy for perpetrating evil. Animal brain is capable of none of these.
It is only by revealed knowledge that this tremendous difference can be known. And the written Word of God reveals it as the presence of human spirit within man that sparks, constrains, and empowers the physical brain in humans with intellect. There is no such spirit within any other form of physical life.
But scientists, bound and held captive by the false concept of evolution, cannot admit the existence of any such spirit. Their minds are blinded.
But understand. The human spirit cannot see, hear, taste, smell, or feel–yet all human knowledge enters the brain through one of those five channels. The human spirit cannot think. It is the brain that thinks, as the human spirit empowers it. It is the brain that makes decisions, formulates attitudes, develops character, either good or evil.
Now why did the Creator God put human spirit within man, while no such spirit is present in animals? The very purpose being worked out here below is God’s supreme purpose of reproducing himself through man. Man was created from the ground of the earth, yet to have a relationship with his Maker. God is composed of Spirit. It is the divine purpose that man, once godly character is developed within him, shall be changed from mortal and physical human to immortal and divine GOD.
God and the Word now form the God Family. Man may be begotten and then later born as divine God. It is the incredible human potential that each human may become a child of God, one of the very God Family!
A World Held Captive
Three major differences exist between God’s Spirit and our spirit. The first and most obvious is that God’s is holy, and holy means “different.” But as “holy” is used throughout the Bible, it becomes clear that its real application is not merely different, but “peculiar,” “a cut above.” So God’s Spirit is transcendentally pure and infinitely good in all that it motivates and energizes. Is Satan’s spirit that way? Is man’s? Not at all. The second difference concerns the amount of knowledge that it is capable of transmitting and using, and for God’s Spirit, it is virtually infinite. The third difference is that God, unlike man, is infinitely wise and mature, and therein lies His morality, His character, which He transmits through His Spirit. Thus, God’s Spirit possesses three kinds of power: purity, knowledge, and character.
The Holy Spirit and the Trinity (Part 2)
Genesis 1:31
God Himself said that man was very good. This is an expression of pleasure; He was pleased with what He had accomplished. If we were very good when He created us, then that must include the nature He created us with.
Does God take pleasure in a nature that is enmity against Him (Romans 8:7)? Not at all, which indicates very strongly that, as He created us and as we are born, we do not have the nature that we later come to have that is enmity against Him. Hateful, human nature is something that develops because God put a spirit in us that other spirits, either God Himself or the spirit of this world, are able to communicate with (I Corinthians 2:10-12).
If the spirit that He is talking about in Genesis 1:31 was very good, then how come human history has been a recording of violence, disease, anguish of spirit? Why is there so much bitterness, anger, prejudice, resentment, doubt, self-pity, vanity, envy, greed, jealousy, pride, and lust? Nowhere in God’s Word are these called good or even acceptable.
Those traits do not come from God. He did not create us that way. God is love. He is kind, generous, good, merciful. We can honestly conclude that they do not come from man either, as he was created by God, because God judged man to be “very good.” Yet, mankind expresses these very attributes.
Again, would something God pronounced “very good” produce what we see? We can conclude that these traits must have come from the spirit of this world, from Satan, who is invisible, soundless, but is able to communicate with our spirits.
Satan (Part 3)
Genesis 2:7
We must briefly consider whether man has an immortal soul. Our understanding of the Scriptures compels us to maintain that he does not for several reasons:
u Job recognized that man has a spirit (Job 32:8), which Paul shows in I Corinthians 2:11 endows humanity with intellect. This spirit in man comes from God (Zechariah 12:1) and returns to Him when we die (Ecclesiastes 12:7; Acts 7:59). It records our experiences, character, and personality, which God stores until the resurrection of the dead. However, the Bible never describes this spirit as immortal or eternal; in fact, I Corinthians 2:6-16 explains that man needs yet another Spirit, God’s, to be complete and discern godly things.
u The Bible flatly asserts that all people die: “It is appointed for men to die once” (Hebrews 9:27). Ezekiel says clearly that souls die: “The soul who sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4, 20; see Romans 6:23). Jesus warns in Matthew 10:28 that God can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.
u In death, life and consciousness are gone. “The dead know nothing,” says Solomon in Ecclesiastes 9:5, and he later adds, “There is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going” (verse 10). In Psalm 146:4, the psalmist writes about a man’s death, “His spirit departs, he returns to his earth; in that very day his plans perish” (see Genesis 3:19).
u Scripture also confutes the idea that people go to heaven or hell after death. Peter says to the crowd on the day of Pentecost, “Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. . . . For David did not ascend into the heavens” (Acts 2:29, 34). Our Savior confirms this in John 3:13: “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.” The biblical usage of Sheol and Hades simply means “the grave.”
u Men cannot have immortality unless God gives it to them. Paul writes, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). In I Corinthians 15:53 he tells the saints, “This corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” At the first resurrection God will give “eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality” (Romans 2:7). If we already had immortality, why should we put it on or seek it?
u Only God has immortality. He is, Paul writes to Timothy, “. . . the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality” (I Timothy 6:15-16). John says of the Word, “In Him was life” (John 1:4), meaning as Creator of all things (verse 3), He had life inherent. Jesus affirms this in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Men must go through Him to receive eternal life.
With such overwhelming proof, the doctrine of the immortality of the soul proves false. Man is not immortal, nor does he possess any “spark of God” unless God has given it to him through the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:11). A Christian’s hope of life after death rests in the resurrection of the dead (I Corinthians 15:12-23). Conversely, the wicked only await eternal death as recompense for their evil lives, not eternal life in torment.
Eternal Torment?
Genesis 2:7
We are different from the rest of the natural creation in that we have mind, not instinct. In Genesis 2:7, God Himself, personally, breathes into man the breath of life. The Bible gives no indication at all that God took a personal, direct intervention to give life to any other creature in creation.
This suggests that there is more here than just the giving of life. It implies the imparting of a spirit that adds to mankind a dimension others in the natural creation lack. It is the power of mind that is imparted by a spirit.
Unlike animals that merely react according to pre-set patterns, we must gather information. Men have to gather knowledge, analyze, understand, and choose to do right as stipulated by instruction, in its broadest sense, and law, in its more specific sense.
As a result of man having a spirit, of man having mind, man has personality and spirituality! He is capable of holiness, love, dominion, and responsibility. This requires time and experience because these qualities are acquired, not given.
We Shall Be God! (Part 2)
1 Kings 22:19-23
Did the false prophets see a ghost? Did something cause them to have a dream? There is no indication of that. Because so many of them were involved–four hundred–it must be that the demon somehow stirred up the men’s spirit and put the thoughts into their minds, making them think it was theirs. When they all came up with the same answer, surely it must have been right. But, alas, they were unanimously wrong, being led by a lying spirit.
We can see by this example that spirit beings can and probably are influencing mankind. It is not enough for us just to understand that they are capable of it. God’s Word shows that they are actively doing it–good ones and bad ones–and some people are so unaware of what is going on that they give themselves over to the bad ones and become possessed–the slave, the tool, of a spirit being that will use them for its own ends. We are beginning to see established proof that Satan manipulates our minds.
Satan (Part 3)
Ezra 1:1
This says clearly that God was able to stir the spirit of Cyrus. There is no indication that Cyrus was aware that God was stirring him up. He just somehow was motivated to issue this proclamation. He may have thought the idea really came from him or from one of his advisors. But for some reason, all of a sudden, he had an inclination to give the Jews the opportunity to go back to their own homeland.
This verse also suggests that our spirit can be communicated with without our being aware of it happening. Understand, however, that we will not always be blind to this or insensitive to it. It is God’s intention that we become very sensitive to the fact that something or someone is trying to communicate with us on a level that is not discernable by the eye or the ear. Nonetheless, our spirit can be stirred to go in a certain direction for good or for bad. We need to begin to realize that we may or may not be aware that our spirit is being communicated with.
Satan (Part 3)
Job 32:8
This spirit is not the man–it is something that is in the man. Joined with the physical brain of the man, it forms human mind. It imparts to man’s brain his unique powers of intellect and personality–the ability to think rationally and make free will decisions. It imparts the ability to learn mathematics, languages, or any type of philosophical knowledge.
But that is all! The spirit that is in man has no consciousness of itself. It is not an “immortal soul.” This spirit is not the “man.”
Because of this spiritual element, the Bible often uses the word “spirit” simply to mean man’s mind, intelligence, attitude. To distinguish this kind of spirit in man and the kind of spirit that is God’s Holy Spirit from mere physical breath, the book of Job continues in context to use two separate Hebrew words–ruach for spirit, neshamah for breath (Job 33:4; 34:14).
Just What Is Man?
Ecclesiastes 11:5
It is likely that “wind” is not properly translated. It should be rendered “spirit,” which fits better with the context of verse 5.
“How the bones grow in the womb” is an illustration of how ignorant mankind is regarding even something so close as a child in the womb. Which of us knows when God gives a human being the spirit in man? Is it at conception or when the child takes its first breath? As far as we know, God has not revealed it in His Word. This is similar to Solomon’s argument here. He did not know either.
There is much in life that we do not know. There are parts of life in which we must wholly trust God’s manifold wisdom and care of each of His creatures because we do not know what He has in mind within His purpose. And His purpose is the key.
Ecclesiastes and the Feast of Tabernacles (Part 2)
John 6:44
It is the work of God to open our minds to enable us to respond in a godly way–that is, by faith–to the manifestation of Himself through His Word, the manifestation of Christ through His Word, the manifestation of God’s works through His Word. He does this so that we can see the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, which means that God has given to each one of us the capacity to do what Moses did (Hebrews 11:26-27). Maybe not as well, not having to trust in exactly the same way or to the same degree, but nonetheless, we can follow the same principle.
So, even though we have a spiritual capacity by nature because of the spirit in man within us–all of mankind has this spiritual capacity–a true spiritual relationship can really be made only by those whom God calls. We have been given a gift of God that enables us to have the kind of faith that Moses and the apostle Paul had.
Faith (Part 3)
1 Corinthians 2:9-13
Because of the action God took once Adam and Eve sinned–they were cut off from the Holy Spirit–all of the cultures of mankind have been built on reasoning apart from God’s Spirit. Man has been doomed to produce the kinds of cultures that are based on his own reasoning, because access to God’s Holy Spirit was closed off, and therefore there is a missing dimension in mankind’s reasoning processes.
Thus, the separation can only get wider–unless God acts to heal the breach. Mankind is unable to bridge the gap because spiritual things are not physically discerned; eyes, ears, nose, mouth cannot sense and understand spiritual things. So mankind is trapped–he is doomed in that regard. Even though God created mankind with a spiritual capacity, it is so limited that it cannot find the true things of God. Man, therefore, is easily overpowered by Satan.
Reconciliation and the Day of Atonement
1 Corinthians 2:10-12
We see three things here:
1. There is a spirit in man that enables him to understand physical things.
2. God reveals to man through His Spirit, which enables man to penetrate the deep, spiritual things of God.
3. We have received the Spirit that is from God, and there is a spirit of this world.
Here, Paul shows at least three different spirits: the spirit in man, the Spirit of God, and the spirit of this world.
Satan (Part 3)
1 Corinthians 2:10-11
There is a human spirit in which all of mankind shares. It is what, more than any other component of what we are, that enables us to be in God’s image, and yet each person is a different personality. We are distinct from each other so that each person’s spirit is also distinct. It is his own. Your spirit is yours, and my spirit is mine.
My spirit projects: It projects my personality, my mind, my attitudes, my knowledge, my understanding, my wisdom, and my discernment–things that have come to me as a result of my experiences. Yours is exactly the same way.
What spirit goes back to God when we die? Is the spirit that goes back to God after your death different from the one that goes back to God from me when I die? Of course it is. Mine is mine, and yours is yours. In reference to God, His Spirit is Holy Spirit, but it is uniquely His. Are not He and the Son distinct from one another? They are.
Image and Likeness of God (Part 3)
2 Peter 1:4
By analogy each adult human life can be compared to an “egg” or “ovum.” This “ovum” has a very limited life span–an average of about 70 years–compared to eternal life. But spiritual, divine immortal life may be imparted to it by God the Father.
As the physical male sperm finds its way to and unites with the nucleus in the ovum, so God’s Spirit enters and combines with the human spirit in man! This happens upon receipt of the Holy Spirit–after real repentance, baptism, and the laying on of hands of a true minister of God. One thus begotten by the Spirit of God is now a “babe in Christ” (I Corinthians 3:1). He is already a child of God, though yet unborn. By direct analogy the embryo in a mother’s womb is already the child of its parents, though not yet born.
A spirit-begotten child of God now has the presence of eternal life–God life–through God’s Spirit, but he is not yet an immortal spirit being–not yet born of God–not yet an inheritor and possessor. He is merely an “heir” with Christ (Romans 8:17). The divine life of God has merely been begotten.
This divine life and character starts so very small in one it is doubtful if much of it is in evidence–except for the glow of that ecstasy of spiritual “romance” which one may radiate in that “first love” of conversion, spiritually speaking. But so far as spiritual knowledge and developed righteous character goes, there is not much–yet.
Once spiritually begotten, we are merely a spiritual “embryo.” Now we must be fed and nourished on spiritual food so we can grow spiritually! Jesus said man shall not live by bread (physical food) alone, but by every word of God (spiritual food)! This we take in from the Bible. Our spiritual growth and development of God’s righteous character also comes through personal, intimate, daily contact with God through prayer, through Christian fellowship with other Spirit-begotten children in God’s church, and also by the spiritual teaching imparted by the church.


Being spiritual doesn’t necessarily make you a spiritualist. The term is used to describe a religious movement (see source) that emerged in a Christian environment, retained the essential moral system, retained the essencial profile on God, and even various practicies. This movement was focused on the spirits of dead humans.
The term atheist has nothing to do with the existence of spirits, only God.


God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).


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